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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure ES-2021-40/2040 – measures in Spain

VI Social Agreement in Defense of Employment

VI Acuerdo Social en Defensa del Empleo

Country Spain , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 28 September 2021 – 28 February 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Tripartite agreements
Category Employment protection and retention
– Income support for people in employment (e.g., short-time work)
Author Oscar Molina (UAB) and Eurofound
Measure added 11 October 2021 (updated 18 November 2021)

Background information

The Second Vice Presidency and Ministry of Labor and Social Economy; the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration; The trade union organizations CCOO and UGT and the employer organizations CEOE and CEPYME have agreed to extend the Temporary Employment Regulation Files (ERTE) until 28 February 2022.

This extension is intended to maintain this measure of social and employment protection that has proven to be transcendental in the face of the pandemic.

Content of measure

On this occasion, the Temporary Lay-off mechanism (ERTE) focuses on training as a fundamental step to increase the skills of workers and improve their employability. As of 1 November, the new modalities will be in force, with greater exemptions in the Social Security contribution for companies that carry out training actions. As for these training actions, they must be carried out before 30 June 2022.

These temporary lay-off schemes will continue to have protection clauses such as, among others, the so-called zero counter, which is extended until 31 December 2022, or the employment maintenance clause. Also the limitations on subcontracting, the performance of overtime hours or the limits related to the distribution of dividends and access to these aids by companies domiciled in tax havens. An extraordinary unemployment benefit is also recognized for permanent discontinuous workers.

Use of measure

No data available.


  • Employment retention
  • Training and employability

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Trade unions
Employers' organisations
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


Similarly to previous extensions in the temporary lay-off mechanism, the initiative to extend it came from social partners, that considered key to maintain duration until the economy has fully recovered from the pandemic crisis. Social partners won't have a major role in the implementation of this policy measure since it is an issue handled directly by the labour and social security ministries.

Views and reactions

Social partners were supportive of this measure and hope this will be the last extension to a mechanisms that has proved key to face the economic and labour market crisis unleashed by the pandemic.



Eurofound (2021), VI Social Agreement in Defense of Employment, measure ES-2021-40/2040 (measures in Spain), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.